I recently watched the brand new Bollywood flick ‘Thackeray’, more so for being a die-hard fan of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui than having even an ounce of knowledge about Indian politics. No I wouldn’t recommend this movie, the slow-paced screenplay does not do justice to Siddiqui’s talent nor the fiery journalist turned politician he portrays. But what I did gather from it all was Balasaheb Thackeray’s undeniable influence on restoring the Marathi identity.
One particular scene that resonates is where Thackeray (played by Siddiqui) starts a street-food revolution introducing the humble ‘Vada Pao’ as a Marathi snack.
Chef Sameer who is heading the kitchen and the overall operations of newly opened Roti Rollers, is a walking, talking encyclopedia on all things food. His insightful knowledge on the vast varieties of cuisines within India itself had us as awestruck as did the innovative dishes that came out of his kitchen.
Here are snippets from our conversations with him. And look out for more blog posts with his insightful food gems, coming soon!
Over the last year or so, Indian molecular gastronomy has taken the Dubai dining scene by storm. It was initially reserved for exuberantly priced fine-dining restaurants like Tresind, and soon seeped into the high-end cafe and bar scenes with the introduction of Farzi Cafe and Carnival by Tresind. Going a few steps further down the affordability scale, we can now rejoice with the opening of Mumbai’s very popular vegetarian joint, SpiceKlub.
Just a month into its opening, and it is already a challenge getting a table booking at this brand new joint. Located in the hub of busy, traffic-congested Mankool where parking can be a nightmare, we booked ourselves a table at SpiceKlub midweek for dinner. Despite not having a valet service, the place was absolutely packed… and this was a Tuesday evening!
My Hubby does not prefer Indian when dining out, and least of all a vegetarian joint. To make matters worse, it took us a good 20 minutes to find a parking spot, so by the time we settled into our table I was praying the food would be to his liking. Miracle of miracles, he walked out very content raving about the dishes and the immaculate service!
It’s been over a month since I got back from my whirlwind trip around North East India this summer. We spent most of the holidays in my husband’s hometown of Shillong (Meghalaya), and I am really missing the cooler weather, the lazy midday siestas and the food… oh the glorious street food!
I believe the food offerings of a city are a direct reflection of the cultural norms of the region, and what better way to explore Shillong than to take to the streets and eat like the locals? Being a Shillong boy himself, my husband was my most trusty food-exploring guide.